Namaste and welcome back. Okay so this week I had the pleasure of going to the cinema as homework, yes you heard me right, haters gonna hate. Well I am not here to give a review of the movie I went to see but if I did I would give it 4 and half samosas.
If you haven’t guessed it already I went to see the Indian rom-com ‘ A hundred foot journey ’; now if you have seen ‘The best exotic marigold hotel’ and loved it then this is the movie for you. Certain themes and styles for me bound the two films together and I found myself making comparisons despite the different directors and storyline, but anyway check out the trailers for both below.
The journey from planning to attending the cinema was another story, unlike the smooth transition between the rom-com’s plot, this tale was filled with rough plot turns and unexpected cliff-hangers, to put it simple, it was a pain to get to the movies and time was not my friend.
Time has a critical importance when it comes to fitting people and things together for functioning in socio-economic systems,” – Hägerstrand
My journey to the cinema will be outlined according to Tosten Hagerstand’s 3 human constraints, which “provide new ways of understanding human activity in space, and promises novel solutions for solving difficult issues of transportation and access in modern society” (Corbett 2014).
Firstly there is as Hagerstrand defines it ‘capability’ which was simply the act of getting to the venue, as I do not live within the CBD of my local vicinity and am situated a minimum 30 minutes away from the nearest cinema complex, it was an effort to make the trip. Furthermore, while my friends live within a 10 minute drive from any cinema, finding a meeting spot was a hassle as each had their own favourite local cinema. Once all the details were sorted out regarding location we discussed the timing, keeping in mind that we all either work or study full time, have part time jobs, or some sort of extra circular activity it was difficult to line our schedules up and we rescheduled three times during the week, our sense of ‘coupling’ (to get there in an agreed time) as Hagerstand outlines was not up to scratch. Eventually we found a time schedule gap for the 9:30pm session. Before we could go we all had to check with the appropriate authority; one friend had to leave work early to attend, the other organize with a roommate about care for their pets; I on the other had had to only inform my parents of my intended time of return.
With a sigh of relief we hung up and proceeded to watch the film, and by the end the hassle of the whole ordeal was but a blur. While personally I still prefer staying home and watching a movie at the comfort of PJ’s, free and varying snacks and drinks and the luxury of being able to take unscheduled toilet breaks (without missing a crucial scene in the film) is still something that I would choose any day over going to the cinema, nothing can beat the comfort of a warm blanket and a bed. Or can it. I recently realised that all over the world cinemas are challenging the gap between private and public movie watching by implementing some of the comforts of home into the cinema experience, in the hope to boost sales.
Ed Potten and his wife recall going to The Electric in West London whom are one of the growing number of cinemas that have responded to this idea by pampering audiences with homely creature comforts including, beds, blankets, pay per view events , overall creating a ‘giant home TV’ as Potten puts it. However Potten warns that this is only a marketing scheme, be it one that works well he emphasises that it is a once off experience and that as myself the lure of the home is too strong.
The head of cinema at Soho House Group (which own Electric) Mandy Kean states that the idea is all about meeting “demand with novelty; being able to lie down in front a film is much more exciting than just a normal seat” (Potten 2012). The idea is also inspired by pure economics states Potten as the cinema found a way to rebrand the less fouvoured front seat as the new back row by replacing them with six beds and offering cheaper seating thus Potten explains that it combined “raciness and comfort, it could appeal to both courting couples and oldies with bad backs” (Potten 2012).
So if marketers are bringing the private home experience into the commercialized and public cinema arena, what is the future for this industry. Well all I can say is that it isn’t going to stay the same, with Netflix and the internet people are staying at home, and unless the cinema can market their experience as better as the lure of the home, I see a dwindling industry. That being said with the amount of innovation that I saw from these cinemas, who knows, the future is definitely going to be an interesting one that’s for sure. So grab a friend stuff your face with popcorn and enjoy the show, or test it for yourself. All you need is about $20 for a movie these days, let me know in the comments.
Corbett, J 2014, Torsten Hägerstrand: Time Geography, accessed 28/08/2014, http://www.csiss.org/classics/content/29
Images sourced from: Ferris, ,K 2014, ‘Beds in cinemas: 4 amazing places to watch a film’, Wedo, accessed 27/08/2014, http://wedo.co.uk/community/beds-in-cinemas/
Potton, E 2012 ‘Great, but what if you don’t like an audience in bed?: The front row is the new back row as a London cinema brings in new ‘viewing beds’, The Times, London, 6 December , pg 7-8